This study offers insight on the digital-onlys, a sub-population of Millennials who only consume media through digital platforms. Based on informal group conversations with 16 to 34 year-olds, the study provides a snapshot of their daily media consumption and preliminary answers to why they regard digital content as the norm.

These findings reveal that some consumers today are not simply abandoning traditional platforms and turning towards digital content, they actually seem to know no other way to consume media but on digital platforms. For them, the biggest consumption change would actually be to watch cable television, listen to FM radio or read a printed newspaper or magazine. Digital-onlys may represent a new kind of consumers that view their media habits as completely normal and organic. Indeed, some are not even aware they belong to this digital group.

The participants shared common characteristics: an ability to adapt devices to their needs, an intrinsically digital lifestyle and a habit of bypassing traditional media to access a larger selection of content despite the fact they’re struggling with an overabundance of choice. Our conversations also revealed that digital-onlys are fully aware of the negative impact their media consumption habits can have on content creators, yet they cherish freedom above all else.